Head of Scotland’s most expensive school leaves post after disagreement over boarding policy

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THE headmaster of Scotland’s most expensive school has stepped down after a fallout over their boarding policy.

Geoffrey Stanford wanted to introduce a boarding only approach at Fettes College from GCSE level and above, while removing the option of accepting day pupils.

Fettes, which was the school former Prime Minister Tony Blair attended, say they will repalce Mr Stanford with Deputy Head Helen Harrison, who will become their first ever female head teacher.

Mr Stanford has held the position at the £35,000 a year school since 2017 and said it was “remarkably rewarding” to work at Fettes.

He wanted new pupils from S4 and above coming into the school to become full time boarding while current day pupils at the school in S4 and above can continue.

The decision was agreed after a board meeting about the strategic future of the boarding school.

Ms Harrison will be made the head-teacher at the school, which is a first in the 150-year history school.

Geoffrey Stanford resigned from Fettes over a dispute over boarding policy
Geoffrey Stanford resigned from Fettes over the school’s boarding policy

A source close to the college said: “It’s understood that Mr Stanford wished to introduce a boarding-only approach from GCSE and above, rather than maintaining the option of admitting day pupils at that level.”

Despite the disagreement over the boarding only policy, Fettes say Mr Stanford will leave on good terms.

Chairman of the Board of Governors Michael Osborne said: “We’d like to thank Geoffrey for all his efforts and for the integrity he has shown throughout his tenure.

“He has made a valuable contribution to the Fettes community over the past two years, including the most recent Scottish Care Inspectorate inspection, where Fettes was awarded ‘sector-leading’ across all assessed categories.

“This decision has been reached by mutual agreement and Geoffrey leaves with our very best wishes.

“We look to the future confident in the knowledge that under the leadership of Helen Harrison, supported by our highly-experienced Senior Leadership Team, Fettes will continue to thrive and offer an exceptional all-round education.”

Mr Stanford said it was a “pleasure” to work at the school and how he is looking forward to the future.

He said: “The last two years have been incredibly rewarding, serving this remarkable school.

“It has been a pleasure to be part of a wonderful community that is full of warmth and energy, and I am now looking forward to my next challenge.”

“We look to the future confident in the knowledge that under the leadership of Helen Harrison, supported by our highly-experienced Senior Leadership Team, Fettes will continue to thrive and offer an exceptional all-round education.”

Helen Harrison will be the first head teacher of Fettes college in its 150 years
Helen Harrison will be the first head teacher of Fettes college in its 150 years

Mr Stanford held senior positions in the past at Sevenoaks school and Pangbourne College.

During his tenure, it was reported Mr Stanford had expelled a pupil in his first week at the school for allegedly turning up to the chapel on ecstasy near the end of 2017.

 
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